It feels good giving joy to others any time of year, but especially during the holidays. This year I chose to give the gift of my time to some very wonderful children in need. I love to be around kiddos, to hear the great—and more times than not, hilarious—things they say and to see such pure, raw innocence and happiness. In April, I helped a group of less fortunate children paint a portrait of their mom for Mother’s Day. As cliché as it sounds, it felt so good. I left with a smile on my face and felt like my heart grew three sizes (thanks, Dr. Seuss, for the perfect analogy). I knew I wanted to do more.
Well, a few weeks ago I got to do it again! This time I spent the afternoon teaching a room full of 4-6 year-old kiddos how to decorate a cardboard gingerbread house. We markered and glued and stickered and glittered our way to creating the happiest little gingerbread houses you’ve ever laid eyes on. And when they finished their art project, there was a whole winter wonderland waiting for them as a surprise. It was a Nutcracker-themed party complete with ballet dancers, sugary treats and Santa himself.
At the end of the party, each child left with a personalized bag of basic necessities and thoughtful holiday gifts to open on Christmas day. Gifts for their siblings were also included. My hope is that these gifts and toys will continue to add happiness to their every day lives. Being a mom myself, I get a little teary-eyed when I think about what I’d wish for their parents, not just at this time of year, but year-round. I hope that when their little ones rip holes in their pants or grow out of their shoes, that these gifts will replenish just what they need when they need it. And that they know that there are other people out there who care and hear and see and help.
If you want to offer support to these children and the kind people who run Baby2Baby, please visit their website. I have also designed a collection of holiday cards for them with the help of Tiny Prints. When purchased, 5% of the card sales go directly to Baby2Baby. To spread the word of giving back, the back of each card shows Baby2Baby’s mission. Use the PROMO CODE: BABY2BABYHOL for 30% off plus free standard shipping.
If you’ve already sealed and mailed your holiday cards, there is also a set of everyday, personalized stationery available. Same wonderful deal applies: if you purchase any of these designs, 5% of the card sales go directly to Baby2Baby. Maybe the next time you are looking for the perfect gift for a good friend, you can give them a set of notecards and know that at the same time you are also giving funds to support some of these wonderful kids who I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.
Thank you Baby2Baby and Tiny Prints. I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to help these sweet families. Here’s a video the talented folks at Tiny Prints put together…enjoy!
TinyPrints+Baby2Baby HolidayParty 720p from Jill Smith on Vimeo.
Photography by Getty Images for Baby2Baby
Event décor by Peggy of Fire and Crème Kids